The Spectator, Volume 2.
Addison and Steele

Part 5 out of 19

his last Note in an hollow Voice, that is not without its Harmony; nor
can I forbear being inspired with a most agreeable Melancholy, when I
hear that sad and solemn Air with which the Public are very often
asked, if they have any Chairs to mend? Your own Memory may suggest to
you many other lamentable Ditties of the same Nature, in which the
Musick is wonderfully languishing and melodious.

I am always pleased with that particular Time of the Year which is
proper for the pickling of Dill and Cucumbers; but alas, this Cry,
like the Song of the [Nightingale [5]], is not heard above two Months.
It would therefore be worth while to consider, whether the same Air
might not in some Cases be adapted to other Words.

It might likewise deserve our most serious Consideration, how far, in
a well-regulated City, those Humourists are to be tolerated, who, not
contented with the traditional Cries of their Forefathers, have
invented particular Songs and Tunes of their own: Such as was, not
many Years since, the Pastryman, commonly known by the Name of the
Colly-Molly-Puff; and such as is at this Day the Vender of Powder and
Wash-balls, who, if I am rightly informed, goes under the Name of

I must not here omit one particular Absurdity which runs through this
whole vociferous Generation, and which renders their Cries very often
not only incommodious, but altogether useless to the Publick; I mean,
that idle Accomplishment which they all of them aim at, of Crying so
as not to be understood. Whether or no they have learned this from
several of our affected Singers, I will not take upon me to say; but
most certain it is, that People know the Wares they deal in rather by
their Tunes than by their Words; insomuch that I have sometimes seen a
Country Boy run out to buy Apples of a Bellows-mender, and Gingerbread
from a Grinder of Knives and Scissars. Nay so strangely infatuated are
some very eminent Artists of this particular Grace in a Cry, that none
but then Acquaintance are able to guess at their Profession; for who
else can know, that _Work if I had it_, should be the Signification of
a Corn-Cutter?

Forasmuch therefore as Persons of this Rank are seldom Men of Genius
or Capacity, I think it would be very proper, that some Man of good
Sense and sound Judgment should preside over these Publick Cries, who
should permit none to lift up their Voices in our Streets, that have
not tuneable Throats, and are not only able to overcome the Noise of
the Croud, and the Rattling of Coaches, but also to vend their
respective Merchandizes in apt Phrases, and in the most distinct and
agreeable Sounds. I do therefore humbly recommend my self as a Person
rightly qualified for this Post; and if I meet with fitting
Encouragement, shall communicate some other Projects which I have by
me, that may no less conduce to the Emolument of the Public.

_I am

SIR_, &c.,

Ralph Crotchet.

[Footnote 1: an]

[Footnote 2: exceedingly]

[Footnote 3: an]

[Footnote 4: contained]

[Footnote 5: Nightingales]

* * * * *


_My_ LORD,

As it is natural to have a Fondness for what has cost us so much Time
and Attention to produce, I hope Your Grace will forgive an endeavour to
preserve this Work from Oblivion, by affixing to it Your memorable Name.

I shall not here presume to mention the illustrious Passages of Your
Life, which are celebrated by the whole Age, and have been the Subject
of the most sublime Pens; but if I could convey You to Posterity in your
private Character, and describe the Stature, the Behaviour and Aspect of
the Duke of _Marlborough_, I question not but it would fill the Reader
with more agreeable Images, and give him a more delightful Entertainment
than what can be found in the following, or any other Book.

One cannot indeed without Offence, to Your self, observe, that You excel
the rest of Mankind in the least, as well as the greatest Endowments.
Nor were it a Circumstance to be mentioned, if the Graces and
Attractions of Your Person were not the only Preheminence You have above
others, which is left, almost, unobserved by greater Writers.

Yet how pleasing would it be to those who shall read the surprising
Revolutions in your Story, to be made acquainted with your ordinary Life
and Deportment? How pleasing would it be to hear that the same Man who
had carried Fire and Sword into the Countries of all that had opposed
the Cause of Liberty, and struck a Terrour into the Armies of _France_,
had, in the midst of His high Station, a Behaviour as gentle as is usual
in the first Steps towards Greatness? And if it were possible to express
that easie Grandeur, which did at once perswade and command; it would
appear as clearly to those to come, as it does to his Contemporaries,
that all the great Events which were brought to pass under the Conduct
of so well-govern'd a Spirit, were the Blessings of Heaven upon Wisdom
and Valour: and all which seem adverse fell out by divine Permission,
which we are not to search into.

You have pass'd that Year of Life wherein the most able and fortunate
Captain, before Your Time, declared he had lived enough both to Nature
and to Glory; [2] and Your Grace may make that Reflection with much more
Justice. He spoke it after he had arrived at Empire, by an Usurpation
upon those whom he had enslaved; but the Prince of _Mindleheim_ may
rejoice in a Sovereignty which was the Gift of Him whose Dominions he
had preserved.

Glory established upon the uninterrupted Success of honourable Designs
and Actions is not subject to Diminution; nor can any Attempts prevail
against it, but in the Proportion which the narrow Circuit of Rumour
bears to the unlimited Extent of Fame.

We may congratulate Your Grace not only upon your high Atchievements,
but likewise upon the happy Expiration of Your Command, by which your
Glory is put out of the Power of Fortune: And when your Person shall be
so too, that the Author and Disposer of all things may place You in that
higher Mansion of Bliss and Immortality which is prepared for good
Princes, Lawgivers, and Heroes, when HE in HIS due Time removes them
from the Envy of Mankind, is the hearty Prayer of,

_Your Graces
Most Obedient,
Most Devoted
Humble Servant_,

[Footnote 1: John Churchill, afterwards Duke of Marlborough, was at this
time 62 years old, and past the zenith of his fame. He was born at Ashe,
in Devonshire, in 1650, the son of Sir Winston Churchill, an adherent of
Charles I. At the age of twelve John Churchill was placed as page in the
household of the Duke of York. He first distinguished himself as a
soldier in the defence of Tangier against the Moors. Between 1672 and
1677 he served in the auxiliary force sent by our King Charles II. to
his master, Louis XIV. In 1672, after the siege of Maestricht, Churchill
was praised by Louis at the head of his army, and made
Lieutenant-colonel. Continuing in the service of the Duke of York,
Churchill, about 1680, married Sarah Jennings, favourite of the Princess
Anne. In 1682 Charles II. made Churchill a Baron, and three years
afterwards he was made Brigadier-general when sent to France to announce
the accession of James II. On his return he was made Baron Churchill of
Sandridge. He helped to suppress Monmouth's insurrection, but before the
Revolution committed himself secretly to the cause of the Prince of
Orange; was made, therefore, by William III., Earl of Marlborough and
Privy Councillor. After some military service he was for a short time
imprisoned in the Tower on suspicion of treasonous correspondence with
the exiled king. In 1697 he was restored to favour, and on the breaking
out of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1701 he was chief commander
of the Forces in the United Provinces. In this war his victories made
him the most famous captain of the age. In December, 1702, he was made
Duke, with a pension of five thousand a year. In the campaign of 1704
Marlborough planned very privately, and executed on his own
responsibility, the boldest and most distant march that had ever been
attempted in our continental wars. France, allied with Bavaria, was
ready to force the way to Vienna, but Marlborough, quitting the Hague,
carried his army to the Danube, where he took by storm a strong
entrenched camp of the enemy upon the Schellenberg, and cruelly laid
waste the towns and villages of the Bavarians, who never had taken arms;
but, as he said, we are now going to burn and destroy the Electors
country, to oblige him to hearken to terms. On the 13th of August, the
army of Marlborough having been joined by the army under Prince Eugene,
battle was given to the French and Bavarians under Marshal Tallard, who
had his head-quarters at the village of Plentheim, or Blenheim. At the
cost of eleven thousand killed and wounded in the armies of Marlborough
and Eugene, and fourteen thousand killed and wounded on the other side,
a decisive victory was secured, Tallard himself being made prisoner, and
26 battalions and 12 squadrons capitulating as prisoners of war. 121 of
the enemy's standards and 179 colours were brought home and hung up in
Westminster Hall. Austria was saved, and Louis XIV. utterly humbled at
the time when he had expected confidently to make himself master of the
destinies of Europe.

For this service Marlborough was made by the Emperor a Prince of the
Empire, and his Most Illustrious Cousin as the Prince of Mindelsheim.
At home he was rewarded with the manor of Woodstock, upon which was
built for him the Palace of Blenheim, and his pension of L5000 from the
Post-office was annexed to his title. There followed other victories, of
which the series was closed with that of Malplaquet, in 1709, for which
a national thanksgiving was appointed. Then came a change over the face
of home politics. England was weary of the war, which Marlborough was
accused of prolonging for the sake of the enormous wealth he drew
officially from perquisites out of the different forms of expenditure
upon the army. The Tories gathered strength, and in the beginning of
1712 a commission on a charge of taking money from contractors for
bread, and 2 1/2 per cent, from the pay of foreign troops, having
reported against him, Marlborough was dismissed from all his
employments. Sarah, his duchess, had also been ousted from the Queens
favour, and they quitted England for a time, Marlborough writing,
Provided that my destiny does not involve any prejudice to the public,
I shall be very content with it; and shall account myself happy in a
retreat in which I may be able wisely to reflect on the vicissitudes of
this world. It was during this season of his unpopularity that Steele
and Addison dedicated to the Duke of Marlborough the fourth volume of
the _Spectator_.]

[Footnote 2: _Julius Caesar_.]

* * * * *

No. 252. Wednesday, December 19, 1711. Steele.

Erranti, passimque oculos per cuncta ferenti.

Virg. [1]


I am very sorry to find by your Discourse upon the Eye, 1 that you
have not thoroughly studied the Nature and Force of that Part of a
beauteous Face. Had you ever been in Love, you would have said ten
thousand things, which it seems did not occur to you: Do but reflect
upon the Nonsense it makes Men talk, the Flames which it is said to
kindle, the Transport it raises, the Dejection it causes in the
bravest Men; and if you do believe those things are expressed to an
Extravagance, yet you will own, that the Influence of it is very great
which moves Men to that Extravagance. Certain it is, that the whole
Strength of the Mind is sometimes seated there; that a kind Look
imparts all, that a Years Discourse could give you, in one Moment.
What matters it what she says to you, see how she looks, is the
Language of all who know what Love is. When the Mind is thus summed up
and expressed in a Glance, did you never observe a sudden Joy arise in
the Countenance of a Lover? Did you never see the Attendance of Years
paid, over-paid in an Instant? You a SPECTATOR, and not know that the
Intelligence of Affection is carried on by the Eye only; that
Good-breeding has made the Tongue falsify the Heart, and act a Part of
continual Constraint, while Nature has preserved the Eyes to her self,
that she may not be disguised or misrepresented. The poor Bride can
give her Hand, and say, _I do_, with a languishing Air, to the Man she
is obliged by cruel Parents to take for mercenary Reasons, but at the
same Time she cannot look as if she loved; her Eye is full of Sorrow,
and Reluctance sits in a Tear, while the Offering of the Sacrifice is
performed in what we call the Marriage Ceremony. Do you never go to
Plays? Cannot you distinguish between the Eyes of those who go to see,
from those who come to be seen? I am a Woman turned of Thirty, and am
on the Observation a little; therefore if you or your Correspondent
had consulted me in your Discourse on the Eye, I could have told you
that the Eye of _Leonora_ is slyly watchful while it looks negligent:
she looks round her without the Help of the Glasses you speak of, and
yet seems to be employed on Objects directly before her. This Eye is
what affects Chance-medley, and on a sudden, as if it attended to
another thing, turns all its Charms against an Ogler. The Eye of
_Lusitania_ is an Instrument of premeditated Murder; but the Design
being visible, destroys the Execution of it; and with much more Beauty
than that of _Leonora_, it is not half so mischievous. There is a
brave Soldiers Daughter in Town, that by her Eye has been the Death
of more than ever her Father made fly before him. A beautiful Eye
makes Silence eloquent, a kind Eye makes Contradiction an Assent, an
enraged Eye makes Beauty deformed. This little Member gives Life to
every other Part about us, and I believe the Story of _Argus_ implies
no more than that the Eye is in every Part, that is to say, every
other Part would be mutilated, were not its Force represented more by
the Eye than even by it self. But this is Heathen _Greek_ to those who
have not conversed by Glances. This, Sir, is a Language in which there
can be no Deceit, nor can a Skilful Observer be imposed upon by Looks
even among Politicians and Courtiers. If you do me the Honour to print
this among your Speculations, I shall in my next make you a Present of
Secret History, by Translating all the Looks of the next Assembly of
Ladies and Gentlemen into Words, to adorn some future Paper. I am,
SIR, _Your faithful Friend_, Mary Heartfree.

I have a Sot of a Husband that lives a very scandalous Life, and
wastes away his Body and Fortune in Debaucheries; and is immoveable to
all the Arguments I can urge to him. I would gladly know whether in
some Cases a Cudgel may not be allowed as a good Figure of Speech, and
whether it may not be lawfully used by a Female Orator.
_Your humble Servant_,
Barbara Crabtree.

_Mr_. SPECTATOR, [2]

Though I am a Practitioner in the Law of some standing, and have heard
many eminent Pleaders in my Time, as well as other eloquent Speakers
of both Universities, yet I agree with you, that Women are better
qualified to succeed in Oratory than the Men, and believe this is to
be resolved into natural Causes. You have mentioned only the
Volubility of their Tongue; but what do you think of the silent
Flattery of their pretty Faces, and the Perswasion which even an
insipid Discourse carries with it when flowing from beautiful Lips, to
which it would be cruel to deny any thing? It is certain too, that
they are possessed of some Springs of Rhetorick which Men want, such
as Tears, fainting Fits, and the like, which I have seen employed upon
Occasion with good Success. You must know I am a plain Man and love my
Money; yet I have a Spouse who is so great an Orator in this Way, that
she draws from me what Sum she pleases. Every Room in my House is
furnished with Trophies of her Eloquence, rich Cabinets, Piles of
China, Japan Screens, and costly Jars; and if you were to come into my
great Parlour, you would fancy your self in an _India_ Ware-house:
Besides this she keeps a Squirrel, and I am doubly taxed to pay for
the China he breaks. She is seized with periodical Fits about the Time
of the Subscriptions to a new Opera, and is drowned in Tears after
having seen any Woman there in finer Cloaths than herself: These are
Arts of Perswasion purely Feminine, and which a tender Heart cannot
resist. What I would therefore desire of you, is, to prevail with your
Friend who has promised to dissect a Female Tongue, that he would at
the same time give us the Anatomy of a Female Eye, and explain the
Springs and Sluices which feed it with such ready Supplies of
Moisture; and likewise shew by what means, if possible, they may be
stopped at a reasonable Expence: Or, indeed, since there is something
so moving in the very Image of weeping Beauty, it would be worthy his
Art to provide, that these eloquent Drops may no more be lavished on
Trifles, or employed as Servants to their wayward Wills; but reserved
for serious Occasions in Life, to adorn generous Pity, true Penitence,
or real Sorrow.
I am, &c.


[Footnote 1: quis Temeros oculus mihi fascinat Agnos.--Virg.]

[Footnote 2: This letter is by John Hughes.]

* * * * *

No. 253. Thursday, December 20, 1711. Addison.

Indignor quicquam reprehendi, non quia crasse
Compositum, illepideve putetur, sed quia nuper.


There is nothing which more denotes a great Mind, than the Abhorrence of
Envy and Detraction. This Passion reigns more among bad Poets, than
among any other Set of Men.

As there are none more ambitious of Fame, than those who are conversant
in Poetry, it is very natural for such as have not succeeded in it to
depreciate the Works of those who have. For since they cannot raise
themselves to the Reputation of their Fellow-Writers, they must
endeavour to sink it to their own Pitch, if they would still keep
themselves upon a Level with them.

The greatest Wits that ever were produced in one Age, lived together in
so good an Understanding, and celebrated one another with so much
Generosity, that each of them receives an additional Lustre from his
Contemporaries, and is more famous for having lived with Men of so
extraordinary a Genius, than if he had himself been the [sole Wonder
[1]] of the Age. I need not tell my Reader, that I here point at the
Reign of _Augustus_, and I believe he will be of my Opinion, that
neither _Virgil_ nor _Horace_ would have gained so great a Reputation in
the World, had they not been the Friends and Admirers of each other.
Indeed all the great Writers of that Age, for whom singly we have so
great an Esteem, stand up together as Vouchers for one anothers
Reputation. But at the same time that _Virgil_ was celebrated by
_Gallus, Propertius, Horace, Varius, Tucca_ and _Ovid_, we know that
_Bavius_ and _Maevius_ were his declared Foes and Calumniators.

In our own Country a Man seldom sets up for a Poet, without attacking
the Reputation of all his Brothers in the Art. The Ignorance of the
Moderns, the Scribblers of the Age, the Decay of Poetry, are the Topicks
of Detraction, with which he makes his Entrance into the World: But how
much more noble is the Fame that is built on Candour and Ingenuity,
according to those beautiful Lines of Sir _John Denham_, in his Poem on
_Fletchers_ Works!

But whither am I strayed? I need not raise
Trophies to thee from other Mens Dispraise:
Nor is thy Fame on lesser Ruins built,
Nor needs thy juster Title the foul Guilt
Of Eastern Kings, who, to secure their Reign,
Must have their Brothers, Sons, and Kindred slain.

I am sorry to find that an Author, who is very justly esteemed among the
best Judges, has admitted some Stroaks of this Nature into a very fine
Poem; I mean _The Art of Criticism_, which was publish'd some Months
since, and is a Master-piece in its kind. [2] The Observations follow
one another like those in _Horace's Art of Poetry_, without that
methodical Regularity which would have been requisite in a Prose Author.
They are some of them uncommon, but such as the Reader must assent to,
when he sees them explained with that Elegance and Perspicuity in which
they are delivered. As for those which are the most known, and the most
received, they are placed in so beautiful a Light, and illustrated with
such apt Allusions, that they have in them all the Graces of Novelty,
and make the Reader, who was before acquainted with them, still more
convinced of their Truth and Solidity. And here give me leave to mention
what Monsieur _Boileau_ has so very well enlarged upon in the Preface to
his Works, that Wit and fine Writing doth not consist so much in
advancing Things that are new, as in giving Things that are known an
agreeable Turn. It is impossible for us, who live in the lat[t]er Ages
of the World, to make Observations in Criticism, Morality, or in any Art
or Science, which have not been touched upon by others. We have little
else left us, but to represent the common Sense of Mankind in more
strong, more beautiful, or more uncommon Lights. If a Reader examines
_Horace's Art of Poetry_, he will find but very few Precepts in it,
which he may not meet with in _Aristotle_, and which were not commonly
known by all the Poets of the _Augustan_ Age. His Way of expressing and
applying them, not his Invention of them, is what we are chiefly to

For this Reason I think there is nothing in the World so tiresome as the
Works of those Criticks who write in a positive Dogmatick Way, without
either Language, Genius, or Imagination. If the Reader would see how the
best of the _Latin_ Criticks writ, he may find their Manner very
beautifully described in the Characters of _Horace, Petronius,
Quintilian_, and _Longinus_, as they are drawn in the Essay of which I
am now speaking.

Since I have mentioned _Longinus_, who in his Reflections has given us
the same kind of Sublime, which he observes in the several passages that
occasioned them; I cannot but take notice, that our _English_ Author has
after the same manner exemplified several of his Precepts in the very
Precepts themselves. I shall produce two or three Instances of this
Kind. Speaking of the insipid Smoothness which some Readers are so much
in Love with, he has the following Verses.

These_ Equal Syllables _alone require,
Tho oft the_ Ear _the_ open Vowels _tire,
While_ Expletives _their feeble Aid_ do _join,
And ten low Words oft creep in one dull Line.

The gaping of the Vowels in the second Line, the Expletive _do_ in the
third, and the ten Monosyllables in the fourth, give such a Beauty to
this Passage, as would have been very much admired in an Ancient Poet.
The Reader may observe the following Lines in the same View.

A needless Alexandrine _ends the Song,
That like a wounded Snake, drags its slow Length along_.

And afterwards,

Tis not enough no Harshness gives Offence,
The Sound must seem an Eccho to the Sense.
Soft is the Strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth Stream in smoother Numbers flows;
But when loud Surges lash the sounding Shore,
The hoarse rough Verse shou'd like the Torrent roar.
When Ajax strives some Rocks vast Weight to throw,
The Line too labours, and the Words move slow;
Not so, when swift Camilla scours the Plain,
Flies o'er th' unbending Corn, and skims along the Main.

The beautiful Distich upon _Ajax_ in the foregoing Lines, puts me in
mind of a Description in _Homer's_ Odyssey, which none of the Criticks
have taken notice of. [3] It is where _Sisyphus_ is represented lifting
his Stone up the Hill, which is no sooner carried to the top of it, but
it immediately tumbles to the Bottom. This double Motion of the Stone is
admirably described in the Numbers of these Verses; As in the four first
it is heaved up by several _Spondees_ intermixed with proper Breathing
places, and at last trundles down in a continual Line of _Dactyls_.

[Greek: Kai maen Sisyphon eiseidon, krater alge echonta,
Laan Bastazonta pelorion amphoteraesin.
Aetoi ho men skaeriptomenos chersin te posin te,
Laan ano otheske poti lophon, all hote melloi
Akron hyperbaleein, tot apostrepsaske krataiis,
Autis epeita pedonde kylindeto laas anaidaes.]

It would be endless to quote Verses out of _Virgil_ which have this
particular Kind of Beauty in the Numbers; but I may take an Occasion in
a future Paper to shew several of them which have escaped the
Observation of others.

I cannot conclude this Paper without taking notice that we have three
Poems in our Tongue, which are of the same Nature, and each of them a
Master-Piece in its Kind; the Essay on Translated Verse [4], the Essay
on the Art of Poetry [5], and the Essay upon Criticism.

[Footnote 1: [single Product]]

[Footnote 2: At the time when this paper was written Pope was in his
twenty-fourth year. He wrote to express his gratitude to Addison and
also to Steele. In his letter to Addison he said,

Though it be the highest satisfaction to find myself commended by a
Writer whom all the world commends, yet I am not more obliged to you
for that than for your candour and frankness in acquainting me with
the error I have been guilty of in speaking too freely of my brother

The only moderns of whom he spoke slightingly were men of whom
after-time has ratified his opinion: John Dennis, Sir Richard Blackmore,
and Luke Milbourne. When, not long afterwards, Dennis attacked with his
criticism Addison's Cato, to which Pope had contributed the Prologue,
Pope made this the occasion of a bitter satire on Dennis, called _The
Narrative of Dr. Robert Norris_ (a well-known quack who professed the
cure of lunatics) _upon the Frenzy J. D_. Addison then, through Steele,
wrote to Popes publisher of this manner of treating Mr. Dennis, that
he could not be privy to it, and was sorry to hear of it. In 1715,
when Pope issued to subscribers the first volume of Homer, Tickell's
translation of the first book of the Iliad appeared in the same week,
and had particular praise at Buttons from Addison, Tickell's friend and
patron. Pope was now indignant, and expressed his irritation in the
famous satire first printed in 1723, and, finally, with the name of
Addison transformed to Atticus, embodied in the Epistle to Arbuthnot
published in 1735. Here, while seeing in Addison a man

_Blest with each talent and each art to please,
And born to live, converse, and write with ease,_

he said that should he, jealous of his own supremacy, damn with faint
praise, as one

_Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
Just hint the fault and hesitate dislike,
Who when two wits on rival themes contest,
Approves of both, but likes the worse the best:
Like Cato, give his little Senate laws,
And sits attentive to his own applause;
While wits and templars every sentence raise:
And wonder with a foolish face of praise:
Who would not laugh if such a man there be?
Who would not weep if Addison were he?_

But in this _Spectator_ paper young Popes _Essay on Criticism_
certainly was not damned with faint praise by the man most able to give
it a firm standing in the world.]

[Footnote 3: Odyssey Bk. XI. In Ticknell's edition of Addison's works
the latter part of this sentence is omitted; the same observation having
been made by Dionysius of Halicarnassus.]

[Footnote 4: Wentworth Dillon, Earl of Roscommon, author of the Essay
on Translated Verse, was nephew and godson to Wentworth, Earl of
Strafford. He was born in Ireland, in 1633, educated at the Protestant
University of Caen, and was there when his father died. He travelled in
Italy, came to England at the Restoration, held one or two court
offices, gambled, took a wife, and endeavoured to introduce into England
the principals of criticism with which he had found the polite world
occupied in France. He planned a society for refining our language and
fixing its standard. During the troubles of King James's reign he was
about to leave the kingdom, when his departure was delayed by gout, of
which he died in 1684. A foremost English representative of the chief
literary movement of his time, he translated into blank verse Horace's
Art of Poetry, and besides a few minor translations and some short
pieces of original verse, which earned from Pope the credit that

_in all Charles's days
Roscommon only boasts unspotted lays,_

he wrote in heroic couplets an Essay on Translated Verse that was
admired by Dryden, Addison, and Pope, and was in highest honour wherever
the French influence upon our literature made itself felt. Roscommon
believed in the superior energy of English wit, and wrote himself with
care and frequent vigour in the turning of his couplets. It is from this
poem that we get the often quoted lines,

_Immodest words admit of no Defence:
For Want of Decency is Want of Sense._]

[Footnote 5: The other piece with which Addison ranks Popes Essay on
Criticism, was by John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, who was living
when the _Spectator_ first appeared. He died, aged 72, in the year 1721.
John Sheffield, by the death of his father, succeeded at the age of nine
to the title of Earl of Mulgrave. In the reign of Charles II he served
by sea and land, and was, as well as Marlborough, in the French service.
In the reign of James II. he was admitted into the Privy Council, made
Lord Chamberlain, and, though still Protestant, attended the King to
mass. He acquiesced in the Revolution, but remained out of office and
disliked King William, who in 1694 made him Marquis of Normanby.
Afterwards he was received into the Cabinet Council, with a pension of
L3000. Queen Anne, to whom Walpole says he had made love before her
marriage, highly favoured him. Before her coronation she made him Lord
Privy Seal, next year he was made first Duke of Normanby, and then of
Buckinghamshire, to exclude any latent claimant to the title, which had
been extinct since the miserable death of George Villiers, Duke of
Buckingham, the author of the _Rehearsal_. When the _Spectator_ appeared
John Sheffield had just built Buckingham House--now a royal palace--on
ground granted by the Crown, and taken office as Lord Chamberlain. He
wrote more verse than Roscommon and poorer verse. The _Essay on Poetry_,
in which he followed the critical fashion of the day, he was praised
into regarding as a masterpiece. He was continually polishing it, and
during his lifetime it was reissued with frequent variations. It is
polished quartz, not diamond; a short piece of about 360 lines, which
has something to say of each of the chief forms of poetry, from songs to
epics. Sheffield shows most natural force in writing upon plays, and
here in objecting to perfect characters, he struck out the often-quoted

_A faultless monster which the world ne'er saw_.

When he comes to the epics he is, of course, all for Homer and Virgil.

_Read Homer once, and you can read no more;
For all books else appear so mean, so poor,
Verse will seem Prose; but still persist to read,
And Homer will be all the Books you need_.

And then it is supposed that some Angel had disclosed to M. Bossu, the
French author of the treatise upon Epic Poetry then fashionable, the
sacred mysteries of Homer. John Sheffield had a patronizing recognition
for the genius of Shakespeare and Milton, and was so obliging as to
revise Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and confine the action of that play
within the limits prescribed in the French gospel according to the
Unities. Pope, however, had in the Essay on Criticism reckoned
Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, among the sounder few

_Who durst assert the juster ancient Cause
And have restored Wits Fundamental Laws.
Such was the Muse, whose Rules and Practice tell,
Natures chief Masterpiece is writing well_.

With those last words which form the second line in the _Essay on
Poetry_ Popes citation has made many familiar. Addison paid young Pope
a valid compliment in naming him as a critic in verse with Roscommon,
and, what then passed on all hands for a valid compliment, in holding
him worthy also to be named as a poet in the same breath with the Lord

* * * * *

No. 254. Friday, December 21, 1711. Steele.

[Greek: Semnos eros aretaes, ho de kypridos achos ophellei.]

When I consider the false Impressions which are received by the
Generality of the World, I am troubled at none more than a certain
Levity of Thought, which many young Women of Quality have entertained,
to the Hazard of their Characters, and the certain Misfortune of their
Lives. The first of the following Letters may best represent the Faults
I would now point at, and the Answer to it the Temper of Mind in a
contrary Character.

_My dear_ Harriot,

If thou art she, but oh how fallen, how changed, what an Apostate! how
lost to all that's gay and agreeable! To be married I find is to be
buried alive; I cant conceive it more dismal to be shut up in a Vault
to converse with the Shades of my Ancestors, than to be carried down
to an old Manor-House in the Country, and confined to the Conversation
of a sober Husband and an awkward Chamber-maid. For Variety I suppose
you may entertain yourself with Madam in her Grogram Gown, the Spouse
of your Parish Vicar, who has by this time I am sure well furnished
you with Receipts for making Salves and Possets, distilling Cordial
Waters, making Syrups, and applying Poultices.

Blest Solitude! I wish thee Joy, my Dear, of thy loved Retirement,
which indeed you would perswade me is very agreeable, and different
enough from what I have here described: But, Child, I am afraid thy
Brains are a little disordered with Romances and Novels: After six
Months Marriage to hear thee talk of Love, and paint the Country
Scenes so softly, is a little extravagant; one would think you lived
the Lives of _Sylvan_ Deities, or roved among the Walks of Paradise,
like the first happy Pair. But prythee leave these Whimsies, and come
to Town in order to live and talk like other Mortals. However, as I am
extremely interested in your Reputation, I would willingly give you a
little good Advice at your first Appearance under the Character of a
married Woman: Tis a little Insolence in me perhaps, to advise a
Matron; but I am so afraid you'll make so silly a Figure as a fond
Wife, that I cannot help warning you not to appear in any publick
Places with your Husband, and never to saunter about St. _James's
Park_ together: If you presume to enter the Ring at _Hide-Park_
together, you are ruined for ever; nor must you take the least notice
of one another at the Play-house or Opera, unless you would be laughed
at for a very loving Couple most happily paired in the Yoke of
Wedlock. I would recommend the Example of an Acquaintance of ours to
your Imitation; she is the most negligent and fashionable Wife in the
World; she is hardly ever seen in the same Place with her Husband, and
if they happen to meet, you would think them perfect Strangers: She
never was heard to name him in his Absence, and takes care he shall
never be the Subject of any Discourse that she has a Share in. I hope
you' propose this Lady as a Pattern, tho I am very much afraid
you'll be so silly to think _Portia, &c. Sabine_ and _Roman_ Wives
much brighter Examples. I wish it may never come into your Head to
imitate those antiquated Creatures so far, as to come into Publick in
the Habit as well as Air of a _Roman_ Matron. You make already the
Entertainment at Mrs. _Modish's_ Tea-Table; she says, she always
thought you a discreet Person, and qualified to manage a Family with
admirable Prudence: she dies to see what demure and serious Airs
Wedlock has given you, but she says she shall never forgive your
Choice of so gallant a Man as _Bellamour_ to transform him to a meer
sober Husband; twas unpardonable: You see, my Dear, we all envy your
Happiness, and no Person more than _Your humble Servant_, Lydia.

Be not in pain, good Madam, for my Appearance in Town; I shall
frequent no publick Places, or make any Visits where the Character of
a modest Wife is ridiculous. As for your wild Raillery on Matrimony,
tis all Hypocrisy; you, and all the handsome young Women of our
Acquaintance, shew yourselves to no other Purpose than to gain a
Conquest over some Man of Worth, in order to bestow your Charms and
Fortune on him. There's no Indecency in the Confession, the Design is
modest and honourable, and all your Affectation cant disguise it.

I am married, and have no other Concern but to please the Man I Love;
he's the End of every Care I have; if I dress, tis for him; if I read
a Poem or a Play, tis to qualify myself for a Conversation agreeable
to his Taste: He's almost the End of my Devotions; half my Prayers are
for his Happiness. I love to talk of him, and never hear him named but
with Pleasure and Emotion. I am your Friend, and wish your Happiness,
but am sorry to see by the Air of your Letter that there are a Set of
Women who are got into the Common-Place Raillery of every Thing that
is sober, decent, and proper: Matrimony and the Clergy are the Topicks
of People of little Wit and no Understanding. I own to you, I have
learned of the Vicars Wife all you tax me with: She is a discreet,
ingenious, pleasant, pious Woman; I wish she had the handling of you
and Mrs. _Modish_; you would find, if you were too free with her, she
would soon make you as charming as ever you were, she would make you
blush as much as if you had never been fine Ladies. The Vicar, Madam,
is so kind as to visit my Husband, and his agreeable Conversation has
brought him to enjoy many sober happy Hours when even I am shut out,
and my dear Master is entertained only with his own Thoughts. These
Things, dear Madam, will be lasting Satisfactions, when the fine
Ladies, and the Coxcombs by whom they form themselves, are irreparably
ridiculous, ridiculous in old Age. I am, _Madam, your most humble
Servant_, Mary Home.

You have no Goodness in the World, and are not in earnest in any thing
you say that is serious, if you do not send me a plain Answer to this:
I happened some Days past to be at the Play, where during the Time of
Performance, I could not keep my Eyes off from a beautiful young
Creature who sat just before me, and who I have been since informed
has no Fortune. It would utterly ruin my Reputation for Discretion to
marry such a one, and by what I can learn she has a Character of great
Modesty, so that there is nothing to be thought on any other Way. My
Mind has ever since been so wholly bent on her, that I am much in
danger of doing something very extravagant without your speedy Advice

SIR, _Your most humble Servant_.

I am sorry I cannot answer this impatient Gentleman, but by another

_Dear Correspondent_, Would you marry to please other People, or your


* * * * *

No. 255. Saturday, December 22, 1711. Addison.

Laudis amore tumes? sunt certa piacula, quae te
Ter pure lecto poterunt recreare libello.


The Soul, considered abstractedly from its Passions, is of a remiss and
sedentary Nature, slow in its Resolves, and languishing in its
Executions. The Use therefore of the Passions is to stir it up, and to
put it upon Action, to awaken the Understanding, to enforce the Will,
and to make the whole Man more vigorous and attentive in the
Prosecutions of his Designs. As this is the End of the Passions in
general, so it is particularly of Ambition, which pushes the Soul to
such Actions as are apt to procure Honour and Reputation to the Actor.
But if we carry our Reflections higher, we may discover further Ends of
Providence in implanting this Passion in Mankind.

It was necessary for the World, that Arts should be invented and
improved, Books written and transmitted to Posterity, Nations conquered
and civilized: Now since the proper and genuine Motives to these and the
like great Actions, would only influence virtuous Minds; there would be
but small Improvements in the World, were there not some common
Principle of Action working equally with all Men. And such a Principle
is Ambition or a Desire of Fame, by which [great [1]] Endowments are not
suffered to lie idle and useless to the Publick, and many vicious Men
over-reached, as it were, and engaged contrary to their natural
Inclinations in a glorious and laudable Course of Action. For we may
further observe, that Men of the greatest Abilities are most fired with
Ambition: And that on the contrary, mean and narrow Minds are the least
actuated by it: whether it be that [a Man's Sense of his own [2]]
Incapacities makes [him [3]] despair of coming at Fame, or that [he has
[4]] not enough range of Thought to look out for any Good which does not
more immediately relate to [his [5]] Interest or Convenience, or that
Providence, in the very Frame of [his Soul [6]], would not subject [him
[7]] to such a Passion as would be useless to the World, and a Torment
to [himself. [8]]

Were not this Desire of Fame very strong, the Difficulty of obtaining
it, and the Danger of losing it when obtained, would be sufficient to
deter a Man from so vain a Pursuit.

How few are there who are furnished with Abilities sufficient to
recommend their Actions to the Admiration of the World, and to
distinguish themselves from the rest of Mankind? Providence for the most
part sets us upon a Level, and observes a kind of Proportion in its
Dispensation towards us. If it renders us perfect in one Accomplishment,
it generally leaves us defective in another, and seems careful rather of
preserving every Person from being mean and deficient in his
Qualifications, than of making any single one eminent or extraordinary.

And among those who are the most richly endowed by Nature, and
accomplished by their own Industry, how few are there whose Virtues are
not obscured by the Ignorance, Prejudice or Envy of their Beholders?
Some Men cannot discern between a noble and a mean Action. Others are
apt to attribute them to some false End or Intention; and others
purposely misrepresent or put a wrong Interpretation on them. But the
more to enforce this Consideration, we may observe that those are
generally most unsuccessful in their Pursuit after Fame, who are most
desirous of obtaining it. It is _Sallust's_ Remark upon _Cato_, that the
less he coveted Glory, the more he acquired it. [9]

Men take an ill-natur'd Pleasure in crossing our Inclinations, and
disappointing us in what our Hearts are most set upon. When therefore
they have discovered the passionate Desire of Fame in the Ambitious Man
(as no Temper of Mind is more apt to show it self) they become sparing
and reserved in their Commendations, they envy him the Satisfaction of
an Applause, and look on their Praises rather as a Kindness done to his
Person, than as a Tribute paid to his Merit. Others who are free from
this natural Perverseness of Temper grow wary in their Praises of one,
who sets too great a Value on them, lest they should raise him too high
in his own Imagination, and by Consequence remove him to a greater
Distance from themselves.

But further, this Desire of Fame naturally betrays the ambitious Man
into such Indecencies as are a lessening to his Reputation. He is still
afraid lest any of his Actions should be thrown away in private, lest
his Deserts should be concealed from the Notice of the World, or receive
any Disadvantage from the Reports which others make of them. This often
sets him on empty Boasts and Ostentations of himself, and betrays him
into vain fantastick Recitals of his own Performances: His Discourse
generally leans one Way, and, whatever is the Subject of it, tends
obliquely either to the detracting from others, or to the extolling of
himself. Vanity is the natural Weakness of an ambitious Man, which
exposes him to the secret Scorn and Derision of those he converses with,
and ruins the Character he is so industrious to advance by it. For tho
his Actions are never so glorious, they lose their Lustre when they are
drawn at large, and set to show by his own Hand; and as the World is
more apt to find fault than to commend, the Boast will probably be
censured when the great Action that occasioned it is forgotten.

Besides this very Desire of Fame is looked on as a Meanness [and [10]]
Imperfection in the greatest Character. A solid and substantial
Greatness of Soul looks down with a generous Neglect on the Censures and
Applauses of the Multitude, and places a Man beyond the little Noise and
Strife of Tongues. Accordingly we find in our selves a secret Awe and
Veneration for the Character of one who moves above us in a regular and
illustrious Course of Virtue, without any regard to our good or ill
Opinions of him, to our Reproaches or Commendations. As on the contrary
it is usual for us, when we would take off from the Fame and Reputation
of an Action, to ascribe it to Vain-Glory, and a Desire of Fame in the
Actor. Nor is this common Judgment and Opinion of Mankind ill-founded:
for certainly it denotes no great Bravery of Mind to be worked up to any
noble Action by so selfish a Motive, and to do that out of a Desire of
Fame, which we could not be prompted to by a disinterested Love to
Mankind, or by a generous Passion for the Glory of him that made us.

Thus is Fame a thing difficult to be obtained by all, but particularly
by those who thirst after it, since most Men have so much either of
Ill-nature, or of Wariness, as not to gratify [or [11]] sooth the Vanity
of the Ambitious Man, and since this very Thirst after Fame naturally
betrays him into such Indecencies as are a lessening to his Reputation,
and is it self looked upon as a Weakness in the greatest Characters.

In the next Place, Fame is easily lost, and as difficult to be preserved
as it was at first to be acquired. But this I shall make the Subject of
a following Paper


[Footnote 1: [all great]]

[Footnote 2: [the Sense of their own]]

[Footnote 3: [them]]

[Footnote 4: [they have]]

[Footnote 5: [their]]

[Footnote 6: [their Souls]]

[Footnote 7: [them]]

[Footnote 8: [themselves]]

[Footnote 9: Sallust. Bell. Catil. c. 49.]

[Footnote 10: [and an]]

[Footnote 11: [and]]

* * * * *

No. 256. Monday, December 24, 1711. Addison.

[Greek: Phaelae gar te kakae peletai kouphae men aeirai Reia mal,
argalen de pherein.]


There are many Passions and Tempers of Mind which naturally dispose us
to depress and vilify the Merit of one rising in the Esteem of Mankind.
All those who made their Entrance into the World with the same
Advantages, and were once looked on as his Equals, are apt to think the
Fame of his Merits a Reflection on their own Indeserts; and will
therefore take care to reproach him with the Scandal of some past
Action, or derogate from the Worth of the present, that they may still
keep him on the same Level with themselves. The like Kind of
Consideration often stirs up the Envy of such as were once his
Superiors, who think it a Detraction from their Merit to see another get
ground upon them and overtake them in the Pursuits of Glory; and will
therefore endeavour to sink his Reputation, that they may the better
preserve their own. Those who were once his Equals envy and defame him,
because they now see him their Superior; and those who were once his
Superiors, because they look upon him as their Equal.

But further, a Man whose extraordinary Reputation thus lifts him up to
the Notice and Observation of Mankind draws a Multitude of Eyes upon him
that will narrowly inspect every Part of him, consider him nicely in all
Views, and not be a little pleased when they have taken him in the worst
and most disadvantageous Light. There are many who find a Pleasure in
contradicting the common Reports of Fame, and in spreading abroad the
Weaknesses of an exalted Character. They publish their ill-natur'd
Discoveries with a secret Pride, and applaud themselves for the
Singularity of their Judgment which has searched deeper than others,
detected what the rest of the World have overlooked, and found a Flaw in
what the Generality of Mankind admires. Others there are who proclaim
the Errors and Infirmities of a great Man with an inward Satisfaction
and Complacency, if they discover none of the like Errors and
Infirmities in themselves; for while they are exposing anothers
Weaknesses, they are tacitly aiming at their own Commendations, who are
not subject to the like Infirmities, and are apt to be transported with
a secret kind of Vanity to see themselves superior in some respects to
one of a sublime and celebrated Reputation. Nay, it very often happens,
that none are more industrious in publishing the Blemishes of an
extraordinary Reputation, than such as lie open to the same Censures in
their own Characters, as either hoping to excuse their own Defects by
the Authority of so high an Example, or raising an imaginary Applause to
themselves for resembling a Person of an exalted Reputation, though in
the blameable Parts of his Character. If all these secret Springs of
Detraction fail, yet very often a vain Ostentation of Wit sets a Man on
attacking an established Name, and sacrificing it to the Mirth and
Laughter of those about him. A Satyr or a Libel on one of the common
Stamp, never meets with that Reception and Approbation among its
Readers, as what is aimed at a Person whose Merit places him upon an
Eminence, and gives him a more conspicuous Figure among Men. Whether it
be that we think it shews greater Art to expose and turn to ridicule a
Man whose Character seems so improper a Subject for it, or that we are
pleased by some implicit kind of Revenge to see him taken down and
humbled in his Reputation, and in some measure reduced to our own Rank,
who had so far raised himself above us in the Reports and Opinions of

Thus we see how many dark and intricate Motives there are to Detraction
and Defamation, and how many malicious Spies are searching into the
Actions of a great Man, who is not always the best prepared for so
narrow an Inspection. For we may generally observe, that our Admiration
of a famous Man lessens upon our nearer Acquaintance with him; and that
we seldom hear the Description of a celebrated Person, without a
Catalogue of some notorious Weaknesses and Infirmities. The Reason may
be, because any little Slip is more conspicuous and observable in his
Conduct than in anothers, as it is not of a piece with the rest of his
Character, or because it is impossible for a Man at the same time to be
attentive to the more important [Part [1]] of his Life, and to keep a
watchful Eye over all the inconsiderable Circumstances of his Behaviour
and Conversation; or because, as we have before observed, the same
Temper of Mind which inclines us to a Desire of Fame, naturally betrays
us into such Slips and Unwarinesses as are not incident to Men of a
contrary Disposition.

After all it must be confess'd, that a noble and triumphant Merit often
breaks through and dissipates these little Spots and Sullies in its
Reputation; but if by a mistaken Pursuit after Fame, or through human
Infirmity, any false Step be made in the more momentous Concerns of
Life, the whole Scheme of ambitious Designs is broken and disappointed.
The smaller Stains and Blemishes may die away and disappear amidst the
Brightness that surrounds them; but a Blot of a deeper Nature casts a
Shade on all the other Beauties, and darkens the whole Character. How
difficult therefore is it to preserve a great Name, when he that has
acquired it is so obnoxious to such little Weaknesses and Infirmities as
are no small Diminution to it when discovered, especially when they are
so industriously proclaimed, and aggravated by such as were once his
Superiors or Equals; by such as would set to show their Judgment or
their Wit, and by such as are guilty or innocent of the same Slips or
Misconducts in their own Behaviour?

But were there none of these Dispositions in others to censure a famous
Man, nor any such Miscarriages in himself, yet would he meet with no
small Trouble in keeping up his Reputation in all its Height and
Splendour. There must be always a noble Train of Actions to preserve his
Fame in Life and Motion. For when it is once at a Stand, it naturally
flags and languishes. Admiration is a very short-liv'd Passion, that
immediately decays upon growing familiar with its Object, unless it be
still fed with fresh Discoveries, and kept alive by a new perpetual
Succession of Miracles rising up to its View. And even the greatest
Actions of a celebrated [Person [2]] labour under this Disadvantage,
that however surprising and extraordinary they may be, they are no more
than what are expected from him; but on the contrary, if they fall any
thing below the Opinion that is conceived of him, tho they might raise
the Reputation of another, they are a Diminution to _his_.

One would think there should be something wonderfully pleasing in the
Possession of Fame, that, notwithstanding all these mortifying
Considerations, can engage a Man in so desperate a Pursuit; and yet if
we consider the little Happiness that attends a great Character, and the
Multitude of Disquietudes to which the Desire of it subjects an
ambitious Mind, one would be still the more surprised to see so many
restless Candidates for Glory.

Ambition raises a secret Tumult in the Soul, it inflames the Mind, and
puts it into a violent Hurry of Thought: It is still reaching after an
empty imaginary Good, that has not in it the Power to abate or satisfy
it. Most other Things we long for can allay the Cravings of their proper
Sense, and for a while set the Appetite at Rest: But Fame is a Good so
wholly foreign to our Natures, that we have no Faculty in the Soul
adapted to it, nor any Organ in the Body to relish it; an Object of
Desire placed out of the Possibility of Fruition. It may indeed fill the
Mind for a while with a giddy kind of Pleasure, but it is such a
Pleasure as makes a Man restless and uneasy under it; and which does not
so much satisfy the present Thirst, as it excites fresh Desires, and
sets the Soul on new Enterprises. For how few ambitious Men are there,
who have got as much Fame as they desired, and whose Thirst after it has
not been as eager in the very Height of their Reputation, as it was
before they became known and eminent among Men? There is not any
Circumstance in _Caesars_ Character which gives me a greater Idea of
him, than a Saying which _Cicero_ tells us [3] he frequently made use
of in private Conversation, _That he was satisfied with his Share of
Life and Fame, Se satis vel ad Naturam, vel ad Gloriam vixisse_. Many
indeed have given over their Pursuits after Fame, but that has proceeded
either from the Disappointments they have met in it, or from their
Experience of the little Pleasure which attends it, or from the better
Informations or natural Coldness of old Age; but seldom from a full
Satisfaction and Acquiescence in their present Enjoyments of it.

Nor is Fame only unsatisfying in it self, but the Desire of it lays us
open to many accidental Troubles which those are free from who have no
such a tender Regard for it. How often is the ambitious Man cast down
and disappointed, if he receives no Praise where he expected it? Nay how
often is he mortified with the very Praises he receives, if they do not
rise so high as he thinks they ought, which they seldom do unless
increased by Flattery, since few Men have so good an Opinion of us as we
have of our selves? But if the ambitious Man can be so much grieved even
with Praise it self, how will he be able to bear up under Scandal and
Defamation? For the same Temper of Mind which makes him desire Fame,
makes him hate Reproach. If he can be transported with the extraordinary
Praises of Men, he will be as much dejected by their Censures. How
little therefore is the Happiness of an ambitious Man, who gives every
one a Dominion over it, who thus subjects himself to the good or ill
Speeches of others, and puts it in the Power of every malicious Tongue
to throw him into a Fit of Melancholy, and destroy his natural Rest and
Repose of Mind? Especially when we consider that the World is more apt
to censure than applaud, and himself fuller of Imperfections than

We may further observe, that such a Man will be more grieved for the
Loss of Fame, than he could have been pleased with the Enjoyment of it.
For tho the Presence of this imaginary Good cannot make us happy, the
Absence of it may make us miserable: Because in the Enjoyment of an
Object we only find that Share of Pleasure which it is capable of giving
us, but in the Loss of it we do not proportion our Grief to the real
Value it bears, but to the Value our Fancies and Imaginations set upon

So inconsiderable is the Satisfaction that Fame brings along with it,
and so great the Disquietudes, to which it makes us liable. The Desire
of it stirs up very uneasy Motions in the Mind, and is rather inflamed
than satisfied by the Presence of the Thing desired. The Enjoyment of it
brings but very little Pleasure, tho the Loss or Want of it be very
sensible and afflicting; and even this little Happiness is so very
precarious, that it wholly depends on the Will of others. We are not
only tortured by the Reproaches which are offered us, but are
disappointed by the Silence of Men when it is unexpected; and humbled
even by their Praises. [4]


[Footnote 1: Parts]

[Footnote 2: [Name]]

[Footnote 3: Oratio pro M. Marcello.]

[Footnote 4: _I shall conclude this Subject in my next Paper_.]

* * * * *

No. 257. Tuesday, December 25, [1] 1711. Addison.

[Greek: Ouch ehudei Dios
Ophthalmos eggus d esti kai paron pono.--Incert. ex Stob.]

That I might not lose myself upon a Subject of so great Extent as that
of Fame, I have treated it in a particular Order and Method. I have
first of all considered the Reasons why Providence may have implanted in
our Mind such a Principle of Action. I have in the next Place shewn from
many Considerations, first, that Fame is a thing difficult to be
obtained, and easily lost; Secondly, that it brings the ambitious Man
very little Happiness, but subjects him to much Uneasiness and
Dissatisfaction. I shall in the last Place shew, that it hinders us from
obtaining an End which we have Abilities to acquire, and which is
accompanied with Fulness of Satisfaction. I need not tell my Reader,
that I mean by this End that Happiness which is reserved for us in
another World, which every one has Abilities to procure, and which will
bring along with it Fulness of Joy and Pleasures for evermore.

How the Pursuit after Fame may hinder us in the Attainment of this great
End, I shall leave the Reader to collect from the three following

_First_, Because the strong Desire of Fame breeds several vicious Habits
in the Mind.

_Secondly_, Because many of those Actions, which are apt to procure
Fame, are not in their Nature conducive to this our ultimate Happiness.

_Thirdly_, Because if we should allow the same Actions to be the proper
Instruments, both of acquiring Fame, and of procuring this Happiness,
they would nevertheless fail in the Attainment of this last End, if they
proceeded from a Desire of the first.

These three Propositions are self-evident to those who are versed in
Speculations of Morality. For which Reason I shall not enlarge upon
them, but proceed to a Point of the same Nature, which may open to us a
more uncommon Field of Speculation.

From what has been already observed, I think we may make a natural
Conclusion, that it is the greatest Folly to seek the Praise or
Approbation of any Being, besides the Supreme, and that for these two
Reasons, Because no other Being can make a right Judgment of us, and
esteem us according to our Merits; and because we can procure no
considerable Benefit or Advantage from the Esteem and Approbation of any
other Being.

In the first Place, No other Being can make a right Judgment of us, and
esteem us according to our Merits. Created Beings see nothing but our
Outside, and can [therefore] only frame a Judgment of us from our
exterior Actions and Behaviour; but how unfit these are to give us a
right Notion of each others Perfections, may appear from several
Considerations. There are many Virtues, which in their own Nature are
incapable of any outward Representation: Many silent Perfections in the
Soul of a good Man, which are great Ornaments to human Nature, but not
able to discover themselves to the Knowledge of others; they are
transacted in private, without Noise or Show, and are only visible to
the great Searcher of Hearts. What Actions can express the entire Purity
of Thought which refines and sanctifies a virtuous Man? That secret Rest
and Contentedness of Mind, which gives him a Perfect Enjoyment of his
present Condition? That inward Pleasure and Complacency, which he feels
in doing Good? That Delight and Satisfaction which he takes in the
Prosperity and Happiness of another? These and the like Virtues are the
hidden Beauties of a Soul, the secret Graces which cannot be discovered
by a mortal Eye, but make the Soul lovely and precious in His Sight,
from whom no Secrets are concealed. Again, there are many Virtues which
want an Opportunity of exerting and shewing themselves in Actions. Every
Virtue requires Time and Place, a proper Object and a fit Conjuncture of
Circumstances, for the due Exercise of it. A State of Poverty obscures
all the Virtues of Liberality and Munificence. The Patience and
Fortitude of a Martyr or Confessor lie concealed in the flourishing
Times of Christianity. Some Virtues are only seen in Affliction, and
some in Prosperity; some in a private, and others in a publick Capacity.
But the great Sovereign of the World beholds every Perfection in its
Obscurity, and not only sees what we do, but what we would do. He views
our Behaviour in every Concurrence of Affairs, and sees us engaged in
all the Possibilities of Action. He discovers the Martyr and Confessor
without the Tryal of Flames and Tortures, and will hereafter entitle
many to the Reward of Actions, which they had never the Opportunity of
Performing. Another Reason why Men cannot form a right Judgment of us
is, because the same Actions may be aimed at different Ends, and arise
from quite contrary Principles. Actions are of so mixt a Nature, and so
full of Circumstances, that as Men pry into them more or less, or
observe some Parts more than others, they take different Hints, and put
contrary Interpretations on them; so that the same Actions may represent
a Man as hypocritical and designing to one, which make him appear a
Saint or Hero to another. He therefore who looks upon the Soul through
its outward Actions, often sees it through a deceitful Medium, which is
apt to discolour and pervert the Object: So that on this Account also,
_he_ is the only proper Judge of our Perfections, who does not guess at
the Sincerity of our Intentions from the Goodness of our Actions, but
weighs the Goodness of our Actions by the Sincerity of our Intentions.

But further; it is impossible for outward Actions to represent the
Perfections of the Soul, because they can never shew the Strength of
those Principles from whence they proceed. They are not adequate
Expressions of our Virtues, and can only shew us what Habits are in the
Soul, without discovering the Degree and Perfection of such Habits. They
are at best but weak Resemblances of our Intentions, faint and imperfect
Copies that may acquaint us with the general Design, but can never
express the Beauty and Life of the Original. But the great Judge of all
the Earth knows every different State and Degree of human Improvement,
from those weak Stirrings and Tendencies of the Will which have not yet
formed themselves into regular Purposes and Designs, to the last entire
Finishing and Consummation of a good Habit. He beholds the first
imperfect Rudiments of a Virtue in the Soul, and keeps a watchful Eye
over it in all its Progress, till it has received every Grace it is
capable of, and appears in its full Beauty and Perfection. Thus we see
that none but the Supreme Being can esteem us according to our proper
Merits, since all others must judge of us from our outward Actions,
which can never give them a just Estimate of us, since there are many
Perfections of a Man which are not capable of appearing in Actions; many
which, allowing no natural Incapacity of shewing themselves, want an
Opportunity of doing it; or should they all meet with an Opportunity of
appearing by Actions, yet those Actions maybe misinterpreted, and
applied to wrong Principles; or though they plainly discovered the
Principles from whence they proceeded, they could never shew the Degree,
Strength and Perfection of those Principles.

And as the Supreme Being is the only proper Judge of our Perfections, so
is He the only fit Rewarder of them. This is a Consideration that comes
home to our Interest, as the other adapts it self to our Ambition. And
what could the most aspiring, or the most selfish Man desire more, were
he to form the Notion of a Being to whom he would recommend himself,
than such a Knowledge as can discover the least Appearance of Perfection
in him, and such a Goodness as will proportion a Reward to it.

Let the ambitious Man therefore turn all his Desire of Fame this Way;
and, that he may propose to himself a Fame worthy of his Ambition, let
him consider that if he employs his Abilities to the best Advantage, the
Time will come when the supreme Governor of the World, the great Judge
of Mankind, who sees every Degree of Perfection in others, and possesses
all possible Perfection in himself, shall proclaim his Worth before Men
and Angels, and pronounce to him in the Presence of the whole Creation
that best and most significant of Applauses, _Well done, thou good and
faithful Servant, enter thou into thy Masters Joy_.


[Footnote 1: This being Christmas Day, Addison has continued to it a
religious strain of thought.]

* * * * *

No. 258. Wednesday, December 26, 1711. Steele.

Divide et Impera.

Pleasure and Recreation of one Kind or other are absolutely necessary to
relieve our Minds and Bodies from too constant Attention and Labour:
Where therefore publick Diversions are tolerated, it behoves Persons of
Distinction, with their Power and Example, to preside over them in such
a Manner as to check any thing that tends to the Corruption of Manners,
or which is too mean or trivial for the Entertainment of reasonable
Creatures. As to the Diversions of this Kind in this Town, we owe them
to the Arts of Poetry and Musick: My own private Opinion, with Relation
to such Recreations, I have heretofore given with all the Frankness
imaginable; what concerns those Arts at present the Reader shall have
from my Correspondents. The first of the Letters with which I acquit
myself for this Day, is written by one who proposes to improve our
Entertainments of Dramatick Poetry, and the other comes from three
Persons, who, as soon as named, will be thought capable of advancing the
present State of Musick.


I am considerably obliged to you for your speedy Publication of my
last in yours of the 18th Instant, and am in no small Hopes of being
settled in the Post of _Comptroller of the Cries_. Of all the
Objections I have hearkened after in publick Coffee-houses there is
but one that seems to carry any Weight with it, _viz_. That such a
Post would come too near the Nature of a Monopoly. Now, Sir, because I
would have all Sorts of People made easy, and being willing to have
more Strings than one to my Bow; in case that of _Comptroller_ should
fail me, I have since formed another Project, which, being grounded on
the dividing a present Monopoly, I hope will give the Publick an
Equivalent to their full Content. You know, Sir, it is allowed that
the Business of the Stage is, as the _Latin_ has it, _Jucunda et
Idonea dicere Vitae_. Now there being but one Dramatick Theatre
licensed for the Delight and Profit of this extensive Metropolis, I do
humbly propose, for the Convenience of such of its Inhabitants as are
too distant from _Covent-Garden_, that another _Theatre of Ease_ may
be erected in some spacious Part of the City; and that the Direction
thereof may be made a Franchise in Fee to me, and my Heirs for ever.
And that the Town may have no Jealousy of my ever coming to an Union
with the Set of Actors now in being, I do further propose to
constitute for my Deputy my near Kinsman and Adventurer, _Kit
Crotchet_, [1] whose long Experience and Improvements in those Affairs
need no Recommendation. Twas obvious to every Spectator what a quite
different Foot the Stage was upon during his Government; and had he
not been bolted out of his Trap-Doors, his Garrison might have held
out for ever, he having by long Pains and Perseverance arriv'd at the
Art of making his Army fight without Pay or Provisions. I must confess
it, with a melancholy Amazement, I see so wonderful a Genius laid
aside, and the late Slaves of the Stage now become its Masters, Dunces
that will be sure to suppress all Theatrical Entertainments and
Activities that they are not able themselves to shine in!

Every Man that goes to a Play is not obliged to have either Wit or
Understanding; and I insist upon it, that all who go there should see
something which may improve them in a Way of which they are capable.
In short, Sir, I would have something _done_ as well as _said_ on the
Stage. A Man may have an active Body, though he has not a quick
Conception; for the Imitation therefore of such as are, as I may so
speak, corporeal Wits or nimble Fellows, I would fain ask any of the
present Mismanagers, Why should not Rope-dancers, Vaulters, Tumblers,
Ladder-walkers, and Posture-makers appear again on our Stage? After
such a Representation, a Five-bar Gate would be leaped with a better
Grace next Time any of the Audience went a Hunting. Sir, these Things
cry loud for Reformation and fall properly under the Province of
SPECTATOR General; but how indeed should it be otherwise, while
Fellows (that for Twenty Years together were never paid but as their
Master was in the Humour) now presume to pay others more than ever
they had in their Lives; and in Contempt of the Practice of Persons of
Condition, have the Insolence to owe no Tradesman a Farthing at the
End of the Week. Sir, all I propose is the publick Good; for no one
can imagine I shall ever get a private Shilling by it: Therefore I
hope you will recommend this Matter in one of your this Weeks Papers,
and desire when my House opens you will accept the Liberty of it for
the Trouble you have receiv'd from,
_Your Humble Servant_,
Ralph Crotchet.

P.S. I have Assurances that the Trunk-maker will declare for us.


We whose Names are subscribed, [2] think you the properest Person to
signify what we have to offer the Town in Behalf of our selves, and
the Art which we profess, _Musick_. We conceive Hopes of your Favour
from the Speculations on the Mistakes which the Town run into with
Regard to their Pleasure of this Kind; and believing your Method of
judging is, that you consider Musick only valuable, as it is agreeable
to, and heightens the Purpose of Poetry, we consent that That is not
only the true Way of relishing that Pleasure, but also, that without
it a Composure of Musick is the same thing as a Poem, where all the
Rules of Poetical Numbers are observed, tho the Words have no Sense
or Meaning; to say it shorter, meer musical Sounds are in our Art no
other than nonsense Verses are in Poetry. Musick therefore is to
aggravate what is intended by Poetry; it must always have some Passion
or Sentiment to express, or else Violins, Voices, or any other Organs
of Sound, afford an Entertainment very little above the Rattles of
Children. It was from this Opinion of the Matter, that when Mr.
_Clayton_ had finished his Studies in _Italy_, and brought over the
Opera of _Arsinoe_, that Mr. _Haym_ and Mr. _Dieupart_, who had the
Honour to be well known and received among the Nobility and Gentry,
were zealously inclined to assist, by their Solicitations, in
introducing so elegant an Entertainment as the _Italian_ Musick
grafted upon _English_ Poetry. For this End Mr. _Dieupart_ and Mr.
_Haym_, according to their several Opportunities, promoted the
Introduction of _Arsinoe_, and did it to the best Advantage so great a
Novelty would allow. It is not proper to trouble you with Particulars
of the just Complaints we all of us have to make; but so it is, that
without Regard to our obliging Pains, we are all equally set aside in
the present Opera. Our Application therefore to you is only to insert
this Letter, in your Papers, that the Town may know we have all Three
joined together to make Entertainments of Musick for the future at Mr.
_Claytons_ House in _York-buildings_. What we promise ourselves, is,
to make a Subscription of two Guineas, for eight Times; and that the
Entertainment, with the Names of the Authors of the Poetry, may be
printed, to be sold in the House, with an Account of the several
Authors of the Vocal as well as the Instrumental Musick for each
Night; the Money to be paid at the Receipt of the Tickets, at Mr.
_Charles Lillie's_. It will, we hope, Sir, be easily allowed, that we
are capable of undertaking to exhibit by our joint Force and different
Qualifications all that can be done in Musick; but lest you should
think so dry a thing as an Account of our Proposal should be a Matter
unworthy your Paper, which generally contains something of publick
Use; give us leave to say, that favouring our Design is no less than
reviving an Art, which runs to ruin by the utmost Barbarism under an
Affectation of Knowledge. We aim at establishing some settled Notion
of what is Musick, as recovering from Neglect and Want very many
Families who depend upon it, at making all Foreigners who pretend to
succeed in _England_ to learn the Language of it as we our selves have
done, and not be so insolent as to expect a whole Nation, a refined
and learned Nation, should submit to learn them. In a word, Mr.
SPECTATOR, with all Deference and Humility, we hope to behave
ourselves in this Undertaking in such a Manner, that all _English_ Men
who have any Skill in Musick may be furthered in it for their Profit
or Diversion by what new Things we shall produce; never pretending to
surpass others, or asserting that any Thing which is a Science is not
attainable by all Men of all Nations who have proper Genius for it: We
say, Sir, what we hope for is not expected will arrive to us by
contemning others, but through the utmost Diligence recommending
_We are, SIR,
Your most humble Servants_,
Thomas Clayton,
Nicolino Haym,
Charles Dieupart.

[Footnote 1: Christopher Rich, of whom Steele wrote in No. 12 of the
_Tatler_ as Divito, who

has a perfect art in being unintelligible in discourse and
uncomeatable in business. But he, having no understanding in his
polite way, brought in upon us, to get in his money, ladder-dancers,
rope-dancers, jugglers, and mountebanks, to strut in the place of
Shakespeare's heroes and Jonson's humorists.]

[Footnote 2: Thomas Clayton (see note on p. 72) had set Dryden's
_Alexanders Feast_ to music at the request of Steele and John Hughes;
but its performance at his house in York Buildings was a failure.
Clayton had adapted English words to Italian airs in the drama written
for him by Motteux, of _Arsinoe, Queen of Cyprus_, and called it his own
opera. Steele and Addison were taken by his desire to nationalize the
opera, and put native music to words that were English and had
literature in them. After _Camilla_ at Drury Lane, produced under the
superintendence of Nicolino Haym, Addison's _Rosamond_ was produced,
with music by Clayton and Mrs. Tofts in the part of Queen Eleanor. The
music killed the piece on the third night of performance. The coming of
Handel and his opera of _Rinaldo_ set Mr. Clayton aside, but the
friendship of Steele and Addison abided with him, and Steele seems to
have had a share in his enterprises at York Buildings. Of his colleagues
who join in the signing of this letter, Nicola Francesco Haym was by
birth a Roman, and resident in London as a professor of music. He
published two good operas of sonatas for two violins and a bass, and
joined Clayton and Dieupart in the service of the opera, until Handel's
success superseded them. Haym was also a man of letters, who published
two quartos upon Medals, a notice of rare Italian Books, an edition of
Tasso's Gerusalemme, and two tragedies of his own. He wrote a _History
of Music_ in Italian, and issued proposals for its publication in
English, but had no success. Finally he turned picture collector, and
was employed in that quality by Dr. Mead and Sir Robert Walpole.

Charles Dieupart, a Frenchman, was a fine performer on the violin and
harpsichord. At the representation of _Arsinoe_ and the other earliest
operas, he played the harpsichord and Haym the violoncello. Dieupart,
after the small success of the design set forth in this letter, taught
the harpsichord in families of distinction, but wanted self-respect
enough to save him from declining into a player at obscure ale-houses,
where he executed for the pleasure of dull ears solos of Corelli with
the nicety of taste that never left him. He died old and poor in 1740.]

* * * * *

No. 259. Thursday, December 27, 1711. Steele.

Quod decet honestum est, et quod honestum est decet.


There are some Things which cannot come under certain Rules, but which
one would think could not need them. Of this kind are outward Civilities
and Salutations. These one would imagine might be regulated by every
Man's Common Sense without the Help of an Instructor; but that which we
call Common Sense suffers under that Word; for it sometimes implies no
more than that Faculty which is common to all Men, but sometimes
signifies right Reason, and what all Men should consent to. In this
latter Acceptation of the Phrase, it is no great Wonder People err so
much against it, since it is not every one who is possessed of it, and
there are fewer, who against common Rules and Fashions, dare obey its
Dictates. As to Salutations, which I was about to talk of, I observe as
I strole about Town, there are great Enormities committed with regard to
this Particular. You shall sometimes see a Man begin the Offer of a
Salutation, and observe a forbidding Air, or escaping Eye, in the Person
he is going to salute, and stop short in the Pole of his Neck. This in
the Person who believed he could do it with a good Grace, and was
refused the Opportunity, is justly resented with a Coldness the whole
ensuing Season. Your great Beauties, People in much Favour, or by any
Means or for any Purpose overflattered, are apt to practise this which
one may call the preventing Aspect, and throw their Attention another
Way, lest they should confer a Bow or a Curtsie upon a Person who might
not appear to deserve that Dignity. Others you shall find so obsequious,
and so very courteous, as there is no escaping their Favours of this
Kind. Of this Sort may be a Man who is in the fifth or sixth Degree of
Favour with a Minister; this good Creature is resolved to shew the
World, that great Honours cannot at all change his Manners; he is the
same civil Person he ever was; he will venture his Neck to bow out of a
Coach in full Speed, at once, to shew he is full of Business, and yet is
not so taken up as to forget his old Friend. With a Man, who is not so
well formed for Courtship and elegant Behaviour, such a Gentleman as
this seldom finds his Account in the Return of his Compliments, but he
will still go on, for he is in his own Way, and must not omit; let the
Neglect fall on your Side, or where it will, his Business is still to be
well-bred to the End. I think I have read, in one of our _English_
Comedies, a Description of a Fellow that affected knowing every Body,
and for Want of Judgment in Time and Place, would bow and smile in the
Face of a Judge sitting in the Court, would sit in an opposite Gallery
and smile in the Ministers Face as he came up into the Pulpit, and nod
as if he alluded to some Familiarities between them in another Place.
But now I happen to speak of Salutation at Church, I must take notice
that several of my Correspondents have importuned me to consider that
Subject, and settle the Point of Decorum in that Particular.

I do not pretend to be the best Courtier in the World, but I have often
on publick Occasions thought it a very great Absurdity in the Company
(during the Royal Presence) to exchange Salutations from all Parts of
the Room, when certainly Common Sense should suggest, that all Regards
at that Time should be engaged, and cannot be diverted to any other
Object, without Disrespect to the Sovereign. But as to the Complaint of
my Correspondents, it is not to be imagined what Offence some of them
take at the Custom of Saluting in Places of Worship. I have a very angry
Letter from a Lady, who tells me [of] one of her Acquaintance, [who,]
out of meer Pride and a Pretence to be rude, takes upon her to return no
Civilities done to her in Time of Divine Service, and is the most
religious Woman for no other Reason but to appear a Woman of the best
Quality in the Church. This absurd Custom had better be abolished than
retained, if it were but to prevent Evils of no higher a Nature than
this is; but I am informed of Objections much more considerable: A
Dissenter of Rank and Distinction was lately prevailed upon by a Friend
of his to come to one of the greatest Congregations of the Church of
_England_ about Town: After the Service was over, he declared he was
very well satisfied with the little Ceremony which was used towards God
Almighty; but at the same time he feared he should not be able to go
through those required towards one another: As to this Point he was in a
State of Despair, and feared he was not well-bred enough to be a
Convert. There have been many Scandals of this Kind given to our
Protestant Dissenters from the outward Pomp and Respect we take to our
selves in our Religious Assemblies. A Quaker who came one Day into a
Church, fixed his Eyes upon an old Lady with a Carpet larger than that
from the Pulpit before her, expecting when she would hold forth. An
Anabaptist who designs to come over himself, and all his Family, within
few Months, is sensible they want Breeding enough for our Congregations,
and has sent his two [eldest [1]] Daughters to learn to dance, that they
may not misbehave themselves at Church: It is worth considering whether,
in regard to awkward People with scrupulous Consciences, a good
Christian of the best Air in the World ought not rather to deny herself
the Opportunity of shewing so many Graces, than keep a bashful Proselyte
without the Pale of the Church.

[Footnote 1: [elder]]

* * * * *

No. 260. Friday, December 28, 1711. Steele.

Singula de nobis anni praedantur euntes.



I am now in the Sixty fifth Year of my Age, and having been the
greater Part of my Days a Man of Pleasure, the Decay of my Faculties
is a Stagnation of my Life. But how is it, Sir, that my Appetites are
increased upon me with the Loss of Power to gratify them? I write
this, like a Criminal, to warn People to enter upon what Reformation
they may please to make in themselves in their Youth, and not expect
they shall be capable of it from a fond Opinion some have often in
their Mouths, that if we do not leave our Desires they will leave us.
It is far otherwise; I am now as vain in my Dress, and as flippant if
I see a pretty Woman, as when in my Youth I stood upon a Bench in the
Pit to survey the whole Circle of Beauties. The Folly is so
extravagant with me, and I went on with so little Check of my Desires,
or Resignation of them, that I can assure you, I very often meerly to
entertain my own Thoughts, sit with my Spectacles on, writing
Love-Letters to the Beauties that have been long since in their
Graves. This is to warm my Heart with the faint Memory of Delights
which were once agreeable to me; but how much happier would my Life
have been now, if I could have looked back on any worthy Action done
for my Country? If I had laid out that which I profused in Luxury and
Wantonness, in Acts of Generosity or Charity? I have lived a Batchelor
to this Day; and instead of a numerous Offspring, with which, in the
regular Ways of Life, I might possibly have delighted my self, I have
only to amuse my self with the Repetition of Old Stories and Intrigues
which no one will believe I ever was concerned in. I do not know
whether you have ever treated of it or not; but you cannot fall on a
better Subject, than that of the Art of growing old. In such a Lecture
you must propose, that no one set his Heart upon what is transient;
the Beauty grows wrinkled while we are yet gazing at her. The witty
Man sinks into a Humourist imperceptibly, for want of reflecting that
all Things around him are in a Flux, and continually changing: Thus he
is in the Space of ten or fifteen Years surrounded by a new Set of
People whose Manners are as natural to them as his Delights, Method of
Thinking, and Mode of Living, were formerly to him and his Friends.
But the Mischief is, he looks upon the same kind of Errors which he
himself was guilty of with an Eye of Scorn, and with that sort of
Ill-will which Men entertain against each other for different
Opinions: Thus a crasie Constitution, and an uneasie Mind is fretted
with vexatious Passions for young Mens doing foolishly what it is
Folly to do at all. Dear Sir, this is my present State of Mind; I hate
those I should laugh at, and envy those I contemn. The Time of Youth
and vigorous Manhood passed the Way in which I have disposed of it, is
attended with these Consequences; but to those who live and pass away
Life as they ought, all Parts of it are equally pleasant; only the
Memory of good and worthy Actions is a Feast which must give a quicker
Relish to the Soul than ever it could possibly taste in the highest
Enjoyments or Jollities of Youth. As for me, if I sit down in my great
Chair and begin to ponder, the Vagaries of a Child are not more
ridiculous than the Circumstances which are heaped up in my Memory.
Fine Gowns, Country Dances, Ends of Tunes, interrupted Conversations,
and midnight Quarrels, are what must necessarily compose my Soliloquy.
I beg of you to print this, that some Ladies of my Acquaintance, and
my Years, may be perswaded to wear warm Night-caps this cold Season:
and that my old Friend _Jack Tawdery_ may buy him a Cane, and not
creep with the Air of a Strut. I must add to all this, that if it were
not for one Pleasure, which I thought a very mean one till of very
late Years, I should have no one great Satisfaction left; but if I
live to the 10th of _March_, 1714, and all my Securities are good, I
shall be worth Fifty thousand Pound.

_I am, SIR, Your most humble Servant,_ Jack Afterday.


You will infinitely oblige a distressed Lover, if you will insert in
your very next Paper, the following Letter to my Mistress. You must
know, I am not a Person apt to despair, but she has got an odd Humour
of stopping short unaccountably, and, as she her self told a Confident
of hers, she has cold Fits. These Fits shall last her a Month or six
Weeks together; and as she falls into them without Provocation, so it
is to be hoped she will return from them without the Merit of new
Services. But Life and Love will not admit of such Intervals,
therefore pray let her be admonished as follows.


I Love you, and I honour you: therefore pray do not tell me of
waiting till Decencies, till Forms, till Humours are consulted and
gratified. If you have that happy Constitution as to be indolent for
ten Weeks together, you should consider that all that while I burn
in Impatiences and Fevers; but still you say it will be Time enough,
tho I and you too grow older while we are yet talking. Which do you
think the more reasonable, that you should alter a State of
Indifference for Happiness, and that to oblige me, or I live in
Torment, and that to lay no Manner of Obligation upon you? While I
indulge your Insensibility I am doing nothing; if you favour my
Passion, you are bestowing bright Desires, gay Hopes, generous
Cares, noble Resolutions and transporting Raptures upon, _Madam,_

_Your most devoted humble Servant._


Here's a Gentlewoman lodges in the same House with me, that I never
did any Injury to in my whole Life; and she is always railing at me to
those that she knows will tell me of it. Don't you think she is in
Love with me? or would you have me break my Mind yet or not? _Your
Servant,_ T. B.


I am a Footman in a great Family, and am in Love with the House-maid.
We were all at Hot-cockles last Night in the Hall these Holidays; when
I lay down and was blinded, she pulled off her Shoe, and hit me with
the Heel such a Rap, as almost broke my Head to Pieces. Pray, Sir, was
this Love or Spite?


* * * * *

No. 261. Saturday. December 29, 1711. Addison.

[Greek: Gamos gar anphropoisin euktaion kakon].

Frag. Vet. Poet.

My Father, whom I mentioned in my first Speculation, and whom I must
always name with Honour and Gratitude, has very frequently talked to me
upon the Subject of Marriage. I was in my younger Years engaged, partly
by his Advice, and partly by my own Inclinations in the Courtship of a
Person who had a great deal of Beauty, and did not at my first
Approaches seem to have any Aversion to me; but as my natural
Taciturnity hindred me from showing my self to the best Advantage, she
by degrees began to look upon me as a very silly Fellow, and being
resolved to regard Merit more than any Thing else in the Persons who
made their Applications to her, she married a Captain of Dragoons who
happened to be beating up for Recruits in those Parts.

This unlucky Accident has given me an Aversion to pretty Fellows ever
since, and discouraged me from trying my Fortune with the Fair Sex. The
Observations which I made in this Conjuncture, and the repeated Advices
which I received at that Time from the good old Man above-mentioned,
have produced the following Essay upon Love and Marriage.

The pleasantest Part of a Man's Life is generally that which passes in
Courtship, provided his Passion be sincere, and the Party beloved kind
with Discretion. Love, Desire, Hope, all the pleasing Motions of the
Soul rise in the Pursuit.

It is easier for an artful Man who is not in Love, to persuade his
Mistress he has a Passion for her, and to succeed in his Pursuits, than
for one who loves with the greatest Violence. True Love has ten thousand
Griefs, Impatiences and Resentments, that render a Man unamiable in the
Eyes of the Person whose Affection he sollicits: besides, that it sinks
his Figure, gives him Fears, Apprehensions and Poorness of Spirit, and
often makes him appear ridiculous where he has a mind to recommend

Those Marriages generally abound most with Love and Constancy, that are
preceded by a long Courtship. The Passion should strike Root, and gather
Strength before Marriage be grafted on it. A long Course of Hopes and
Expectations fixes the Idea in our Minds, and habituates us to a
Fondness of the Person beloved.

There is Nothing of so great Importance to us, as the good Qualities of
one to whom we join ourselves for Life; they do not only make our
present State agreeable, but often determine our Happiness to all
Eternity. Where the Choice is left to Friends, the chief Point under
Consideration is an Estate: Where the Parties chuse for themselves,
their Thoughts turn most upon the Person. They have both their Reasons.
The first would procure many Conveniencies and Pleasures of Life to the
Party whose Interests they espouse; and at the same time may hope that
the Wealth of their Friend will turn to their own Credit and Advantage.
The others are preparing for themselves a perpetual Feast. A good Person
does not only raise, but continue Love, and breeds a secret Pleasure and
Complacency in the Beholder, when the first Heats of Desire are
extinguished. It puts the Wife or Husband in Countenance both among
Friends and Strangers, and generally fills the Family with a healthy and
beautiful Race of Children.

I should prefer a Woman that is agreeable in my own Eye, and not
deformed in that of the World, to a Celebrated Beauty. If you marry one
remarkably beautiful, you must have a violent Passion for her, or you
have not the proper Taste of her Charms; and if you have such a Passion
for her, it is odds but it [would [1]] be imbittered with Fears and

Good-Nature and Evenness of Temper will give you an easie Companion for
Life; Virtue and good Sense, an agreeable Friend; Love and Constancy, a
good Wife or Husband. Where we meet one Person with all these
Accomplishments, we find an hundred without any one of them. The World,
notwithstanding, is more intent on Trains and Equipages, and all the
showy Parts of Life; we love rather to dazzle the Multitude, than
consult our proper Interest[s]; and, as I have elsewhere observed, it is
one of the most unaccountable Passions of human Nature, that we are at
greater Pains to appear easie and happy to others, than really to make
our selves so. Of all Disparities, that in Humour makes the most unhappy
Marriages, yet scarce enters into our Thoughts at the contracting of
them. Several that are in this Respect unequally yoked, and uneasie for
Life, with a Person of a particular Character, might have been pleased
and happy with a Person of a contrary one, notwithstanding they are both
perhaps equally virtuous and laudable in their Kind.

Before Marriage we cannot be too inquisitive and discerning in the
Faults of the Person beloved, nor after it too dim-sighted and
superficial. However perfect and accomplished the Person appears to you
at a Distance, you will find many Blemishes and Imperfections in her
Humour, upon a more intimate Acquaintance, which you never discovered or
perhaps suspected. Here therefore Discretion and Good-nature are to shew
their Strength; the first will hinder your Thoughts from dwelling on
what is disagreeable, the other will raise in you all the Tenderness of
Compassion and Humanity, and by degrees soften those very Imperfections
into Beauties.

Marriage enlarges the Scene of our Happiness and Miseries. A Marriage of
Love is pleasant; a Marriage of Interest easie; and a Marriage, where
both meet, happy. A happy Marriage has in it all the Pleasures of
Friendship, all the Enjoyments of Sense and Reason, and indeed, all the
Sweets of Life. Nothing is a greater Mark of a degenerate and vicious
Age, than the common Ridicule [which [2]] passes on this State of Life.
It is, indeed, only happy in those who can look down with Scorn or
Neglect on the Impieties of the Times, and tread the Paths of Life
together in a constant uniform Course of Virtue.

[Footnote 1: [will]]

[Footnote 2: [that]]

* * * * *

No. 262. Monday, December 31, 1711. Steele.

Nulla venenato Littera mista Joco est.


I think myself highly obliged to the Publick for their kind Acceptance
of a Paper which visits them every Morning, and has in it none of those
_Seasonings_ that recommend so many of the Writings which are in Vogue
among us.

As, on the one Side, my Paper has not in it a single Word of News, a
Reflection in Politics, nor a Stroak of Party; so on the other, there
are no Fashionable Touches of Infidelity, no obscene Ideas, no Satyrs
upon Priesthood, Marriage, and the like popular Topics of Ridicule; no
private Scandal, nor any Thing that may tend to the Defamation of
particular Persons, Families, or Societies.

There is not one of these above-mentioned Subjects that would not sell a
very indifferent Paper, could I think of gratifying the Publick by such
mean and base Methods. But notwithstanding I have rejected every Thing
that savours of Party, every Thing that is loose and immoral, and every
Thing that might create Uneasiness in the Minds of particular Persons, I
find that the Demand of my Papers has encreased every Month since their
first Appearance in the World. This does not perhaps reflect so much
Honour upon my self, as on my Readers, who give a much greater Attention
to Discourses of Virtue and Morality, than ever I expected, or indeed
could hope.

When I broke loose from that great Body of Writers who have employed
their Wit and Parts in propagating Vice and Irreligion, I did not
question but I should be treated as an odd kind of Fellow that had a
mind to appear singular in my Way of Writing: But the general Reception
I have found, convinces me that the World is not so corrupt as we are
apt to imagine; and that if those Men of Parts who have been employed in
vitiating the Age had endeavour'd to rectify and amend it, they needed
[not [1]] have sacrificed their good Sense and Virtue to their Fame and
Reputation. No Man is so sunk in Vice and Ignorance, but there are still
some hidden Seeds of Goodness and Knowledge in him; which give him a
Relish of such Reflections and Speculations as have an [Aptness [2]] to
improve the Mind, and make the Heart better.

I have shewn in a former Paper, with how much Care I have avoided all
such Thoughts as are loose, obscene or immoral; and I believe my Reader
would still think the better of me, if he knew the Pains I am at in
qualifying what I write after such a manner, that nothing may be
interpreted as aimed at private Persons. For this Reason when I draw any
faulty Character, I consider all those Persons to whom the Malice of the
World may possibly apply it, and take care to dash it with such
particular Circumstances as may prevent all such ill-natured
Applications. If I write any Thing on a black Man, I run over in my Mind
all the eminent Persons in the Nation who are of that Complection: When
I place an imaginary Name at the Head of a Character, I examine every
Syllable and Letter of it, that it may not bear any Resemblance to one
that is real. I know very well the Value which every Man sets upon his
Reputation, and how painful it is to be exposed to the Mirth and
Derision of the Publick, and should therefore scorn to divert my Reader,
at the Expence of any private Man.

As I have been thus tender of every particular Persons Reputation, so I
have taken more than ordinary Care not to give Offence to those who
appear in the higher Figures of Life. I would not make myself merry even
with a Piece of Paste-board that is invested with a Publick Character;
for which Reason I have never glanced upon the late designed Procession
of his Holiness and his Attendants, [3] notwithstanding it might have
afforded Matter to many ludicrous Speculations. Among those Advantages,
which the Publick may reap from this Paper, it is not the least, that it
draws Mens Minds off from the Bitterness of Party, and furnishes them
with Subjects of Discourse that may be treated without Warmth or
Passion. This is said to have been the first Design of those Gentlemen
who set on Foot the Royal Society; [4] and had then a very good Effect,
as it turned many of the greatest Genius's of that Age to the
Disquisitions of natural Knowledge, who, if they had engaged in
Politicks with the same Parts and Application, might have set their
Country in a Flame. The Air-Pump, the Barometer, the Quadrant, and the
like Inventions were thrown out to those busie Spirits, as Tubs and


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